Alphabetical Plant Listing

Allium schoenoprasum (Chives)

Chives, Cive, Onion Grass, Allium buhseanum, Allium raddeanum, Allium oliganthum, Allium alpinum, Allium schmitzii var. duriminium, Allium purpurascens, Allium montanum, Allium gredense


Cultivated for its culinary uses and ornamental garden appeal, Allium schoenoprasum (Chives) is a small bulbous perennial forming a dense clump of thin, narrowly cylindrical, grass-like, dark green leaves. Blooming in late spring to early summer, attractive, pale lavender, rounded umbels are borne on erect stems atop the foliage. Both flowers and leaves are edible. The flowers are perfect in salads, while the leaves are widely used to add mild onion flavor to sauces, stews, mashed vegetables, fish, poultry, egg dishes, and salads. Since their delicate flavor is easily destroyed by heat, add chives during the last few minutes of cooking time, or scatter them on a finished dish to garnish.

  • Grows up to 12-18 in. tall and wide (30-45 cm). Will self-seed if spent flower heads are not promptly deadheaded.
  • Easy to grow, Chives thrive in fertile, well-drained soils in full sun or light shade. Add grit to clay soils to improve drainage. Chives are drought-tolerant once established.
  • Chives are great additions to herb gardens, vegetable gardens, rock gardens, border fronts, or containers.
  • Chives attract bees and butterflies, but their strong smell turns away deer.
  • Generally pest and disease free. Keep an eye out for onion white rot and downy mildew.
  • Cut back after flowering or merely remove dead flower heads.
  • Leaves are best harvested by cutting them off down to the base.
  • Propagate by seed, or division at any time.
  • Chives are much more productive if divided into clumps of at least 10 small bulbs every 3 to 4 years.
  • Toxic to dogs, toxic to cats, toxic to horses.
  • Allium schoenoprasum is native to temperate areas of Europe, Asia, and North America.

Hundreds of Allium species exist, but only a few have made a name for themselves as garden plants. The ornamental onions distinguish themselves by their remarkable diversity in color, inflorescence, and flowering height. Many species bloom in early summer - just after the spring-flowering period and just before the exuberant full bloom of summer. Certain small species are perfect for a rock garden, and several lend themselves to naturalizing. All species can be used in the border.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 11
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3, H1, H2
Plant Type Bulbs, Herbs
Plant Family Allium
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southeast, Alabama, Virginia, Southwest, Nevada
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage

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digifuture / 123RF Stock Photo

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 11
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3, H1, H2
Plant Type Bulbs, Herbs
Plant Family Allium
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southeast, Alabama, Virginia, Southwest, Nevada
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Allium

Guides with Allium

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